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OrigamiUSA sponsors several awards named for past supporters of the organization and the arts, as well as funds established to honor the memories of our founders and their work. Awards are typically announced each year at the Annual Meeting.

Ranana Benjamin Award

This annual award is sponsored by the family of the late Ranana Benjamin an author of origami books as well as a teacher of children, of prisoners and many other groups. The honor goes to an an outstanding origami teacher particularly of children .The award goes to an OrigamiUSA member who has done meaningful work that has been recognized. The committee also considers voluntary teaching of origami and teaching of diverse populations. The winner's name is added to the beautiful trophy. The award includes $100 to spend at The Source.

To make a nomination for the award, please contact the Awards Committee at awards [at] Nominations are due by April 1 of each year.

  • 2015 Michael G. LaFosse
  • 2014 Kay Eng
  • 2013 Jeannine Mosely
  • 2012 MaryAnn Scheblein-Dawson
  • 2011 John Smiley
  • 2010 Kathy Knapp
  • 2009 Vernon Isaac and Rachel Katz
  • 2008 Dorothy Kaplan
  • 2007 Mark Kennedy
  • 2006 Yami Yamauchi
  • 2005 Kathleen Hong Casimir and Martha Landy
  • 2004 Erica Knopper
  • 2003 Cyril Tessier
  • 2002 Laura Kruskal

Florence Temko Award

In honor of Florence Temko, an award was established by OrigamiUSA to honor a "Lone Folder" who has contributed to origami in a meaningful way. Florence's prolific output of 2.75 million books (and still counting) has turned on many a folder to the love of origami. OrigamiUSA looks to bring in at least one of them into our origami community each year. The nominee must not already be a member of a recognized folding group at time of nomination. The recipient will receive free convention registration and housing for two nights, $100 towards travel, $50 to spend at The Source and a year's membership in OrigamiUSA.

To make a nomination for the award, please contact the Awards Committee at awards [at] Nominations are due by April 1 of each year.

  • 2015 Barlaham Benitez Vargas
  • 2014 Matthew Shlian
  • 2013 Michael Schneider
  • 2012 Juston Hairgrove
  • 2011 Beth Johnson
  • 2010 Roy T. Iwaki
  • 2009 S. Matthew Jones
  • 2008 Christine Petrell Kallevig
  • 2007 Kuniko Yamamoto
  • 2006 Joel Cooper
  • 2005 Meenakshi Mukerji
  • 2004 Lar De Souza

V'Ann Cornelius Award

In memory of the late V'Ann Cornelius OrigamiUSA announced the creation of the new V'Ann Cornelius Award for Regional Groups in 2008. This award, made to a Regional group, carries with it a credit to The Source for group purchases of origami books and paper along with ten individual memberships in OrigamiUSA, which may be given out by the local group. The award is so named to recognize the years of work that V'Ann has put in promoting local groups, writing up the handbook for local groups, and her general years of outreach supporting origami across the country and around the world.

To make a nomination for the award, please contact the OrigamiUSA Board at boardawards [at] Nominations are accepted at any time.

Michael Shall Award

The Michael Shall Volunteer Recognition Award began in 1995 and is given to specific dedicated volunteers for extraordinary service to OrigamiUSA.

To make a nomination for the award, please contact the OrigamiUSA Board at boardawards [at] Nominations are accepted at any time.

  • 2015 Marco Noguchi
  • 2013 Ros Joyce
  • 2011 Kathy Wallace
  • 2010 Marc Kirschenbaum
  • 2008 Robert J. Lang
  • 2006 Tony Cheng
  • 2005 Delrosa Marshall
  • 2004 June Sakamoto, Toby Schwartz
  • 2002 Jean Baden-Gillette
  • 2001 Jan Polish, Kathryn Wagner
  • 2000 Wendy Zeichner, Vicky Mihara Avery, deg farrelly
  • 1997 Jonathan Baxter
  • 1995 V'Ann Cornelius, Ethel Axelson


Each of the following funds was established to honor the memory of one of our founders and to carry on their work. You may send your contribution to any of these funds to the Home Office. Please remember to tell us which fund you wish to support.

If you have any suggestions about the types of projects that should be undertaken, please write to the Home Office. To inquire about the possibility of support for a particular project, send us a short written description of the activity for which assistance is being sought at least three months prior to the planned event or project.

Michael Shall Fund

The Michael Shall Fund provides sponsorship in the form of paper for public projects. Michael Shall showed his dedication to spreading the magic found in a single sheet of paper by teaching in virtually every public library and countless schools in the New York City area. The mission of the Michael Shall Fund is to share the magic of origami by spreading the knowledge and enthusiasm to the public in venues such as libraries and schools. In the past we have used the Michael Shall Fund to provide sponsorship in the form of paper for such projects as a Long Island, NY high school's Japan Club to fold cranes for a local hospital and a teacher at an Oregon senior center for the free classes she provides.

Lillian Oppenheimer Fund

The Lillian Oppenheimer Fund supports efforts toward the creation of a global village by facilitating the exchange of information and ideas. This fund provides scholarships to international conferences and brings noteworthy people to the annual convention. This fund is supplemented by the gifts of generous people who want to assure the success of these goals.

Alice Gray Fund

The Alice Gray Fund advances the teaching and diagramming of origami models and the development of international standards. Alice Gray was the communicator of origami. She was an author, prolific creator, insightful editor, articulate teacher and superb diagrammer. She was dedicated to clarity in communicating origami.